Another Weighty Question

A running buddy told me this am that a recent Newsweek article described a new theory of weight lifting. I searched SDMB for the last 30 days and found no q. regarding it, which I find quite surprising. I didn’t read the article, but he said the theory is as follows: You perform the weight lifting only once a week, since you’ll need that much time for your muscles to recover. You will gain 50% more muscle fibers than any other method. What you have to do is perform the concentric part of the weight lifting v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, taking 14 seconds to do it. My buddy said, upon questioning, that the article stated to do 10 reps and one set, but I don’t think he was so sure about that.

My buddy said that a friend of his, an experienced weight lifter, tried it and his muscles afterwards were never so sore.

Those of you who read the article and have tried it, what has been your experience? Does this really work? Does any one have a theory why it should work?

Muscles have two basic modes of operation: twitch and pull. Anything you do fast is caused by the twitch response, and any steady action is done by the pulling action. If your goal is to develop the strength of the muscle through its entire range of motion, you want to pull, not twitch, because once your muscles yank the weights into motion, they relax for a while until the momentum dies and it’s time to pull the rest of the way through.

When I had a trainer, he suggested a 7-second cycle: pull for 2 seconds, hold for 1, then recover to starting point over 4 seconds. The 2-second pull strengthened the twitch response, and the 4-second recovery strengthened throughout the range of motion. He had me doing one set of 10-12 reps for each muscle group, once a week.

And yes, it was a great workout.

Our local news ran a series on this just last week. Of course, they gave no substantive information in the reports - just followed one woman, who swore by the process, and her trainer, who said very little.

Oops, should have included this - the interviewees claimed major results from 1 five minute session per week.

I can’t claim to be an expert, just an amateur weightlifter for some years…

First, I doubt the claim that it takes a week to regenerate the muscle. It has been standard for many years in many versions of weight-training that 2 days, sometimes 3, is needed. For Newsweek to suddenly claim you need two or three times that is remarkable. If you really did need a full week, many people

Second, you (or the article) don’t say what you’re looking for. Muscle mass? Oxygen efficiency? Speed, Power, Endurance? Depending what you’re looking for, you do exercises differently. A good rule of thumb is that the exercise should mirror what you are trying to get out of it. Speed lifting tends to give you the ability to move weight quickly. Doing exercises slowly would tend to give you the ability to life weights in a slow controlled manner. 14 seconds is very slow and controlled. I don’t that it would hurt many lifters to do that. However, that doesn’t neccessarily mean it is doing more or less for your muscles, just that you are asking your muscles to do something they don’t normally do.

I think we need some citations for this.

The method you describe was first described by Nautilus over 20 years ago, except it was 8 seconds: pull for 2, hold for 2, recover for 4. I’ve been using moreorless that method since I once belonged to a Nautilus club, which I guess have all gone out of business. But, of course, there are many Nautilus equipment around and I still do my weight stuff on the Nautilus at the Wellness Center.

But once a week!? I’ve always heard to do them at least 3 times a week. I try to do them every other day. Incidentally, I do 10-15 reps on the upper body and 15-20 reps on the lower body, including the abdomen and back. I also do 2 sets each.

Dr. Jackson states that the claim is for only 5 minutes a week. If that is what the article said, I need inquire no more. That’s BS.

Yeah, barbitu8, that’s pretty much what I thought. Just to clarify, my info was not from an article, but from our local (Atlanta) TV news. I’m pretty sure it was the Fox affiliate that ran the series. I looked at their website - - but did not see a search function.

As a person who has lifted weights for a long time I can say I can see where that theory MAY work.

The key I found to gaining muscle is VARY your routine. If you do that lift for one day a week your body will be accustom to that and stop growing. Shock it. Try something else. If you lift every other day your body will adjust to that.

When I hurt my back I didn’t lift for 2 weeks and boom I gained muscle. I was overtraining and not realizing it.

What works for some doesn’t work for others. I have ready bodybuilding books by many “NAMES” and one will say do this and one say no do that. They all have good bodies. What works for one may not work for you.